Every so often, I am asked, “How do you stay so organized?” Although I consider myself an organized person, I haven’t always been that way to the degree I am today.
Back in my late teens and early 20s, I remember asking people who I admired a similar question but from a different angle. I would ask, “What motivates you to be so organized?” “Did your parents punish you when you were a kid if you didn’t keep your things in order?”
Their responses were not what I expected when it came to whether and how their parents influenced them. In some cases, they came from a home where one or both of their parents were extremely disorganized. Another had parents who were very organized, but instead of punishment, they led by example. They motivated their children to be organized, along with many other disciplines, with just a “look” of approval or disapproval. I was stunned when I heard that since I received a variety of punishments from my stepfather for the slightest infraction. Looking at how great each of those kids turned out, I believe that this parenting method is much more effective than what I experienced.
I adopted many of the motivations for being organized that these people told me about and added some of my own over the years. I’ll give you the entire list shortly. There were three major upgrades in my development to become more organized. They were when I started college, when I began my first corporate job, and when I launched my first online business.
During my first semester of college, I took a course called “College Techniques.” It was about time management and getting organized. Both of these disciplines overlap in many ways. Our first assignment was to enter all of our activities on a 24-hour seven-day chart and then schedule in time for completing all responsibilities including college coursework. Once I was done, I was astounded by how much free time I had. It greatly reduced the stress of being a first-year college student. Reduction of stress became a leading incentive for me to become more organized. It also helped me to graduate from college with honors.
When I entered corporate boot camp as a management trainee, I quickly realized that organization was a mandatory requirement for success. During my first few weeks, I was overwhelmed with all the organizing supplies and equipment that found in my cubical. I often had to ask my boss’ secretary what many of the things were used for. Eventually, I learned to appreciate their value in helping me stay organized.
In a corporate environment, productivity is expected and highly valued. And the foundation for productivity is organization. If you wanted to advance, you needed to be extremely organized. So this became another strong incentive for me to refine my organization skills. Although there were other factors, I believe being highly organized helped me to rise rapidly through the corporate ranks.
The value of organization becomes even more crucial when you’re running your own business. This is especially true when it’s a one-person operation like mine. When I began building an online business, I found that I needed to strengthen my organization skills even further. I couldn’t afford to waste my energy on things that didn’t lead to income generation. Although money has never been a motivator for me, having a place to live and food to eat is. Unlike college or corporate life, when you’re an entrepreneur everything rests on your shoulders. One of the keys to making the entrepreneurial lifestyle easier, less stressful, and fun is being highly organized.
The motivation for being organized comes from understanding and appreciating the benefits and advantages of this discipline. Here are 25 reasons for being organized.
25 Reasons for Being Organized
- Enhances your reputation.
- Elevates your style.
- Improves your grades at school.
- Increases the probability of promotions at work.
- Provides a good example to those who work for you.
- Provides an outstanding example to your children.
- Increases your productivity generally.
- Saves you time.
- Saves your energy.
- Saves you money.
- Protects your credit.
- Helps you make money.
- Reduces time spent looking for things.
- Reduces stress.
- Eliminates duplicate purchases.
- Eliminates missed payments & late fees.
- Eliminates damage to useful items.
- Provides protection for valuable items.
- Helps you to be punctual.
- Helps you to be reliable.
- Enhances your relationships.
- Increases usable space.
- Reduces obsolete, unusable, and unneeded items.
- Makes work, leisure, and storage spaces attractive.
- Makes workspaces more efficient.
- Increases your self-esteem.
- Increases your confidence.
It’s easy to spot people who are organized. They are well-groomed and well-dressed. They follow through on their commitments. They are highly productive. And because they do these things, they have “class.”
The next step is to get organized! This article of mine entitled, “10 Simple Ways to Get Organized,” can help.